Tennis: Graf wins 1,000th match
Wednesday 12 May 1999
Graf, out of touch because of a three-week break due to a foot injury, came back from 1-3 down in the final set to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Yugoslavia's Sandra Nacuk.
The former world No 1, who dominated the women's game for a decade, kept spectators on the edge of their seats in a see-saw match in which she had trouble keeping the ball in play. After she struggled back to win in just over an hour and a half - her 888th win against 112 losses - she had tears in her eyes when her achievement was celebrated.
Graf said she was taken completely by surprise on the court by the bouquet and standing ovation from her home crowd as she was unaware of the milestone she had reached in her 17-year career. "I had no clue it was my 1,000th match," said the 29-year-old. "Obviously I'm proud of those numbers, but if it meant more to me I would know these things."
Belgium's Dominque van Roost, seeded 11th, and France's Amelie Mauresmo also advanced at the event, in which 16 of the world's top 20 have entered. Van Roost beat Germany's Jana Kandarr, 5-2, 6-1 and Mauresmo beat Switzerland's Emanuelle Gagliardi, 6-4, 6-3.
Graf's win did not come easily as Nacuk, ranked 102nd, flew into a 4- 1 lead in just 16 minutes as Graf struggled with her serve and her forehands.
However, after a downpour caused an hour delay, Graf regrouped and won the second set easily. "I think the rain came at the right point. I had half an hour to sit down and think about what I was doing," Graf said.
Graf's erratic play returned in the third set, however, and she fell behind again. Graf then seemed to respond to the crowd's support as she fought back to secure the win.
This tournament has played a major role in Graf's career. She has won the event nine times, more than any other tournament in her career. She first played in the event as a 13-year old in 1983, then two year's later reached the final and pushed the then world No 2, Chris Evert, to two sets before losing. "I have a special relationship with this tournament," Graf said.
John Roberts, page 25
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
£32000 - £38000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Serv...
£38000 - £44000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Virt...